COLUMNIST: Barry Mear - Reflecting on the horror of the First World War

ON Saturday, August 2, I attended a service at St Mary’s church to commemorate the start of the First World War.

The outstanding service was carried out by the Rev Erika Howard, vicar of Sompting, and I believe it bought home to everyone that attended, the total carnage that took place in those four years, a whole generation decimated in a futile struggle that in most cases only moved a few miles each way, but with the loss of millions of lives with hardly a family unaffected by loss of fathers, husbands, sons or loved ones.

The debt is so great it can never be fully paid. The worse outcome was that we never learned the lesson and just two decades later we had another world conflict which many believe, as I do, was as a result of the First World War.

Sompting church has decided to put on a display and record of Sompting between the years of 1914-1918, during the Great War, and is collecting memorabilia of that time. If anyone has any photographs, documents, letters or anything that may be of interest from the armed forces between those times and would be kind enough to share it with the people of Sompting, please could you send copies only to The Vicarage, West Street, Sompting.

Once again it seems to be the time of year for travellers to visit our village. Within the last two weeks Adur District Council have had them moved on from Sompting and Croshaw recreation grounds, and they are at present parked at Halewick Lane park where they have been since July 31. The authorities have, up to now, moved quickly to evict and we can only hope that they will do so in this most recent case.